Data analysis is becoming the center of successful and targeted e-commerce. Customers using websites, email and social media platforms give B2B and B2C e-retailers more information than was ever available for in-person sales. There is a way to use this data to strengthen focus on the strongest markets—for example, using predictive analysis tools Dell was recently able to send half the number of leads, but with a doubled return.

The question is, do you know what you are looking for? All of these online interactions mean almost endless behavior to track. How do you focus on the information that will help improve your marketing ROI?

Generating Long-Term Customers: Five Ways to Use Predictive Analytics

1.  New Customer ConversionWhat does a new shopper respond to that gets them to become a customer? Track inbound conversions from newsletters, emails and social media campaigns. Use data to find which products grab the most attention so that you know what should be front and center. Keep track of new sales that are tied to incentives, such as customer loyalty programs, to gauge what is most successful.

2.  Heat MapsWhat parts of your website are getting the most action? Heat map programs show you the hottest points on your site, so that you know what generates the most clicks and what items users are pretty much ignoring. Use this data to decide where information is placed on your site and where to add some graphic punch.

3.  Browsing Behavior Do your customers have a recurring focus? For example, your customers might consistently look at particular product specifications or shipping times most closely. Develop a sense of trust and increase your site’s ease-of-use by highlighting the information your customers find most relevant.

4.  Customer Long-Term ValueAre you generating repeat customers and which ones come back? If your marketing campaigns mostly get you single purchase customers, those campaigns may not be as successful as an initial sales figure suggests. Find common traits among repeat buyers to identify the strategies that create loyalty.

5.  Churn RateWhat spurs a customer to cut ties? Are you losing customers somewhere in the middle of their purchase decision? To successfully track your churn rate and understand what turns customers away, focus on both potential customers who abandon their carts and on previous customers who are no longer shopping—find the overlapping complaints and problems. Also, make sure it is easy for customers to share feedback so that you can consistently track and address complaints.